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These Days: Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Concerts: The Mountain Goats were so great last night opening for Jason Isbell, they took me by surprise. I’ve listened to them for years, rock nyc’s Steve Crawford is a fan, and though I trust him, I reviewed the last couple of albums, and always actively disliked them. Not tuneful enough, a little too clever clogs for their own good. In person, the melodies sharpen, the arrangements are streamlined and John Darnielle, who looks like a cross between Craig Finn and Steve Crawford, has just the right level of intensity. If nothing else, “Up The Wolves” will make a believer of you. Grade: A

More Concerts: The entire evening was great but we get it Jason, you define uxorious by your very presence, and Amanda Shire is a terrific woman (my  review of her solo show here)  but after awhile it gets a little soppy. Maybe the dingos took your wife?

More More Concerts: The Dead tonight, xxxtentacion Monday, U2 on Wednesday, “Kinky Boots” with the Panic dude on Thursday, James Taylor the following week and still not decided about the A$AP gig.

New Music: Drake is in the zone right now, he just can’t record a bad song. “Signs” is another terrific quasi-Trap mood music 808s and heartbreaks without the heartbreaks. The beats have a unique African feel to em, and the entire single has a swoony cleverness and a slight dance hall flava. Bumper sticker of the year (except I bet you’ll get pulled over all the time):  YOU CAN’T DRINK ALL DAY IF YOU DON’T START IN THE MORNING…  Grade: A-

Old Music: The Isbell set went so deep… we didn’t get either “Decoration Day” or “Elephant” but we got “Dress Blues” (from 2007!) and went so deep that I had to go in search of some of the older numbers. I was sooooo impressed, Grade: A-. I still can’t decide if it is worth slogging through the obvious to reach a reappraisal of Mighty Like A Rose. I’ll probably wait till I complete Prince before I make a final decision.

Grenfell: The incineration of the 24-story London high rise, the deadliest fire in Britain in more than a century, was fueled by a regulatory breakdown…. thanks Mr. Obvious. The bastards put money way before safety because the poor tenants had no voice.

USA: OK guys, time for a third party… the Dems aren’t cutting it and the GOP are failed members of the vote for duke campaign…You can’t resist somebody whose Christening you went to last week.

Sports: Did we get Tanaka back? Yesterday’s 2-1 win was a thrilling thing -the Yanks have been playing .200 ball so maybe this is a return to winning.  Mets blew out the Giants 11 – 4.

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